I love tacos. No wait - let me say that again: I LOVE TACOS! Really, I can't get enough of them. So imagine my delight when I heard about The Taco Cleanse: The Tortilla-Based Diet Proven to Change Your Life. Yup, you read that right. The Taco Cleanse. It's a thing, and even people like Jennifer Aniston are doing it.
Mornings are tough. Aloha plant-based protein makes them easier. Actually, everything Aloha sells makes life better. They are all about simple, quality products, supplements, sweeteners, protein powders, teas, vitamins, snacks and green powders that provide the nutritional support you need to help maintain your already healthy lifestyle — plus a little “nature-made oomph, just for good measure.” My favorite morning shake is the chocolate protein with ice, almond milk, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. Or, if I’m really needing a boost, I mix it with almond milk and coffee. Totally delicious, filling and 100% good for you with nothing synthetic and no weird after taste. And sign up for their newsletter – they have some great recipes using their products that are all really delicious (I especially love the Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. See recipes for the more info).
Yoga can be great for you. It can also be gross, especially if you sweat through a bikram or vinyasa glass on a borrowed mat. But these Yogitoes towels by Manduka ($48-57) can help with that. They have grippy stuff on one side so they stick to any yoga mat, which means they are a cool, hygienic way to sweat it out without picking up other people's germs on the way.
We know, we know. Helmets aren't "cool." But neither is your brain splattered all over the sidewalk, ice or ski slope. So please, please, please protect your brain with these thankfully cool helmets by Nutcase. They come in dozens of colors and patterns that will make even the most vain fashionista happy enough to wear one.
Most days I wake up and wonder when the day will come that I won't have to exercise anymore. Of course that won't ever happen, so as long as I have to drag my ass to the gym in order to eat and drink what I want the other 23 hours of the day, my torture of choice is Flywheel. Founded by my good friend Ruth Zukerman, it's 45 minutes of spinning in the dark to great music while sweating your ass off, and I swear, no other class gets the job done as well as a flywheel class does. It's a total high. Plus, with studios across the globe, you can easily get your workout in no matter where in the world you are.
I can't speak to much of what Kabbalah preaches. I'm not friends with Madonna, I don't really understand the Jewish connection and I don' t have a red string bracelet, but here is what I can tell you: I took a Kabbalah 1 class out of curiosity and it changed my life. That's not hyperbole - it actually changed my life - and I have spent a lot of hours sitting in various chairs in various upper west side offices trying to make that happen. It's a lot of information to try and disseminate here, but the short of it is that it's basically a checklist of what we all need to do in our lives to be fulfilled, happy, successful and at peace. Yes, there is some esoteric mumbo jumbo thrown in along the way, but you can leave that behind and take only what you need, which is learning to pause, and learning to be like the light. Confused or cynical? I get it, and all I can say is, please try it. I can't speak to anything beyond the first level, but for me that was enough to make huge changes in everything from my relationship with my parents to the way I approach work. Well worth the time, I promise.
Cleanses. Ugh. Just the word "cleanse" makes me tired - there's so many out there and they all seem to have so many rules and so many gross drinks to go along with them (I'm not talking about juice cleanses - I don't believe in those), but in 2011 I was introduced to the Burn and Build 14- Day Anti- Aging Detox Kit and I became a convert. The thing about this one is it's EASY. You can eat. In fact you can eat so much that you actually end up not eating everything you're allowed. Basically it's 3 meals a day, 2 snacks (nothing pre-packaged, you're responsible for supplying all of your own fresh food but no sugar, dairy, grains, wheat, red meat, shellfish or caffeine) all accompanied by packets of supplements that help cleanse and detoxify you from the inside out (there's nothing in them that will make your heart race or make you feel weird, I promise). As the 2 weeks progress, you add in some detox shakes (tip: add cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne to make them a bit more complex) and at the end, everything is different. I personally lost 10 pounds, ended my destructive relationship with sugar and gained a clarity that I'd never known before. And as I said, it was EASY, which is half the battle when it comes to these programs.
Dr. Amanda Baten is a dear friend of mine, but that's not why I'm writing about her. I'm writing because she runs The Center for Integrative Practices, and I'm a little obsessed with it. It's a collective of health practitioners who are "strongly influenced" by a holistic and integrative approach to wellness." In other words, it's one-stop shopping for health and wellness in a super cool space. Feeling out of alignment, get a neuromuscular massage, want to quit smoking? try acupuncture. Trying to lose weight? Learn about clinical nutrition. And of course there's options for therapies as well: couples counseling, pediatric and adolescent and holistic psychiatry - the list goes on. But every treatment is approached from a holistic place, so it's a kinder, gentler way to get results. I love everything about it.